Working with people on a daily basis over the past few years has led me to a few major revelations in regards to the influence of depression. I realize there are many other contributing factors to the struggle of depression, but I’ve found there are two main things that are blatantly obvious to the triggering of it. And although many people might find these to be common sense, I must say it’s become increasingly obvious that this is not common knowledge to the average person…by any means!
I want to take a moment to briefly point these out…in hopes that if you are one who is struggling with a lingering depression (having no clue why) this might bring clarity and challenge you to step into seeking healing.
1. Suppressed Disappointment
I cannot tell you how many sessions I have spent with people who absolutely refuse to admit to themselves the disappointment they feel towards their lives. Consequently, we spend countless sessions chasing the roots behind the symptoms for weeks on end, but because they refuse to admit that they’re outright disappointed with certain things that have happened in their lives, they never experience breakthrough.
Just the other day I had a session with a woman whom I’ve been meeting with for 6 months…who is CLEARLY not happy with her life but will not admit it. So her issues manifest through severe anxiety and chasing person after person to fill her voids.
Finally, a couple sessions ago this woman admitted out loud,“You know what God...I’m angry. I’m angry the way my life has turned out to be. I'm angry I’m not married. I hate my job. I feel like I don’t have friends. And the friends I do have seem to care less about my life!” (In my head I was shouting for joy thinking “PRIASE THE LORD WE CAN ACTUALLY GET SOMEWHERE!”).
The first step to healing is actually admitting what is going on inside of you —without judging it. We like to justify why we feel what we feel; but the truth is if you’re disappointed in something you NEED to acknowledge it…without trying to finagle your way out the emotion before it takes its course!
So my question for you is this…
If you struggle with a lingering depression, what are you disappointed in that has yet to be acknowledged?
This could be a sense of loss in your life. It could be your current or past circumstances. Or it could be unfulfilled expectations. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to actually admit it!
2. Lack of Community
The importance of a healthy sense of community in EVERY individual's life cannot be stressed enough. Every part of your being was created for intimacy —with God and others. If there is not a healthy sense of belonging within your life by people (that goes far beyond surface level hang outs), there is a very high chance you probably struggle with depression.
Jim Wilder, who wrote the Life Model Theory, talks about the core emotion of joy being purely based on relational factors. When you look at the beginning stages of life, infants grow (or deplete) in joy through relationship to their mommies and daddies starting from day one. In order for infants to remain in joy, they need to be receiving non-verbal or verbal messages from their primary caregivers that say, “these people want to be with me.” This is how humanity was created by God to function and it does not change after childhood! This reality is just as critical within adulthood.
In order to live in the wholeness you were created for, you need a few solid people (and a relationship with God) in your life where you can completely be yourself, let your hair down, and rest in a sense of safety and connection. Apart from this, you will continue to hit a wall in regards to your healing.
I realize finding a healthy sense of community is a lot easier said than done; however, I truly believe that if you begin acknowledging your need for people and a place to belong, God will bring them to you in due time!
So my question for you is this…
In what ways are you proactively seeking a healthy sense of community within your life on a daily basis?
- Acknowledge your need for it
- Begin honestly admitting this before the Lord, and asking Him for it!
- Find a church (no matter how messed up they can be at times, you need the body of Christ!)
- Go to the gym (lots of good people to meet there!)
- Get off Netflix and social media and show up where the real life people are!
Love You All!!!!!!!!!!! You can do this. And feel free to reach out to me if you are in need of prayer. Blessings.